Lesson learned for Miller after disappointment in giant slalom

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2022 05:49 PM

Philippine’s Asa Miller together with friend Shannon Ogbnai Abeda of Eritrea who is also one of the participants in Sunday’s men’s giant slalom event. Photo courtesy of Asa Miller on Instagram.
Philippine’s Asa Miller together with friend Shannon Ogbnai Abeda of Eritrea who is also one of the participants in Sunday’s men’s giant slalom event. Photo courtesy of Asa Miller on Instagram.

Asa Miller vowed to have learned his lesson after registering a DNF (did not finish) in the giant slalom last Sunday, amid snow and almost zero visibility in the Ice River course at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Miller revealed that his focus slipped while waiting for his turn to start, and he was aggressive from the get-go in an attempt to navigate the gates. Unfortunately, his tactic backfired, and he skied for just 15.9 seconds before crashing out.

"I just have to stick to my plan for the next race," said the 21-year-old Miller.

The Filipino-American athlete did not blame the weather, even though Sunday marked the first time in weeks that it snowed at the Ice River. The shift in weather was clearly felt by the athletes, with 32 of the 84 competitors in the giant slalom getting DNFs.

"I'd kind of lost my focus when I got into the gate for so long waiting, and forgot what I want to think about, so I need to make sure to stick to my plan for slalom on Wednesday," said Miller.

Miller was No. 63 in the start list.

"I'm pretty bummed about that [DNF], but I went out skiing my hardest and I went fast," said Miller. "Ski racing is a hard sport. A lot of the best skiers struggled yesterday [Sunday], and a lot of people didn't finish so I'm happy that I put my best out there and laid it on the line."

His American coach Will Gregorak observed after the race that Miller skied not to finish "but to run," and go for a strong result.

The two-time Filipino-American Olympian expressed his frustration by leaving right away for the Olympic Village and skipped a request for an interview at the Mixed Zone.

He appeared to be in better spirits on Monday as he watched the medal ceremony for the giant slalom, with Switzerland's Marco Odermatt receiving his first Olympic gold medal. Slovenia's Zan Kranjec clinched silver and France's Mathieu Faivre bagged bronze. 

Miller, who placed 70th in the giant slalom in Pyeongchang 2018, will try to get his redemption on Wednesday when he competes in the slalom, his second and last event of the Beijing Winter Games.

"I'm looking forward to the slalom and I know I will put my best out there again and hopefully things align and we get a nice result," said Miller. 

"Thank you guys so much for supporting me. I have been reading all the comments and the messages, they are all kind," he also said, in a message of gratitude to his supporters. "I know I didn't get a good result yesterday and you guys still support me anyway so thank you so much."